Senate Committee to islands in April

The Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations KOREL of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament will pay a working visit to the Dutch Caribbean in April, 2016. The evaluation of the new constitutional relations will be a central theme during the visit.

The KOREL Committee visits the islands every four years to give all parties a chance to get to know this part of the Kingdom. This time the visit will have a clear link to the recently published reports on the evaluation of the new constitutional relations, said KOREL Chairman Ruard Ganzevoort, on Friday. The visit is being planned for April 16-25.

The visit will enable the committee to pose specific questions, talk with people and relevant authorities, and to gather information which can be used in the policy debate in the Senate with Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk. The proposed date for that debate is June 21, 2016, with May 24, as a fallback option.

The debate is very important, said Ganzevoort, who was appointed Committee Chairman in June this year. “We need to have a very serious talk about the outcome of the evaluation. The evaluation was pending for a while and lot was said about it. We need to have this in-depth debate now that the evaluation reports on the Caribbean Netherlands and the two new countries Curaçao and St. Maarten are ready,” he told The Daily Herald.

According to Ganzevoort, the expectations were high when Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba became public entities of the Netherlands in October 2010. “Many expectations didn’t come true. There is a lot of disappointment. The Evaluation Committee has confirmed this. I hope the debate will mainly be about what went right and what went wrong.”

Topic of the policy debate with Minister Plasterk, which will be held in a plenary setting, will not only be the constitutional evaluations, but also the Kingdom and the relations between the countries in the broader sense.

Four members of the KOREL Committee, including Ganzevoort, will visit St. Maarten early January 2016, for the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation for the Kingdom IPKO. The Second Chamber will have a delegation of eight members. It is the intention to also visit St. Eustatius and Saba after the IPKO.

The Daily Herald.

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